Putting A Lime In Your Beer Could Lead To Spotty Skin

To some, putting a lime wedge into your Corona is essential. But one dermatologist says to be careful when you mix the two, lest you end up with “Mexican Beer Dermatitis.”

According to an article in Archives of Dermatology, there’s a substance in lime juice that can cause prolonged skin discoloration if left on the skin out in the sun.

From the NY Daily News:

Mexican beers, particularly Corona, are typically served with a lime slice wedged in the top of the bottle. The drinker shoves the lime into the bottle and holds his or her thumb over the bottle’s mouth while turning the bottle over to mix in the juice.

But if the drinker is not careful, the beer’s carbonation can spray lime juice and beer all over his or her skin — “especially in a patient who is shirtless by a beach or pool,” wrote Flugman, a dermatologist in New York.

Flugman says he sees two to three cases a year of Mexican Beer Dermatitis.

“People are worried that it’s something serious. You might have some brown spots you’re been looking at for a few months,” he says. “If you do this and you spritz the beer or the lime, just wash it off. Don’t leave it on there and sit out in the sun.”

‘Mexican beer dermatitis’: Booze plus lime can cause nasty skin rash [NY Daily News]


Edit Your Comment

  1. TuxthePenguin says:

    Racist. /sarc

  2. AustinTXProgrammer says:

    Talk about the most overly dramatic headline. I think the article should start out with lime juice on the skin in the sun is the problem!

  3. Alvis says:

    “Don’t leave it on there and sit out in the sun”

    This is good advice for getting ANY LIQUID on you.

  4. mexifelio says:

    and in today’s “College Kid’s Concerns weekly”…

  5. Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

    What do Mexicans know about good beer anyway? Now, North of the border, thats another story!

    • balthisar says:

      They don’t serve Corona that way in Mexico, except maybe in tourist spots where the gringos expect it.

      What do they know about good beer? Don’t be fooled by Corona; that’s Mexico’s Budweiser. My friend, you’ve got to try Cerveza Leon, Negra Modelo, or Bohemia Obscura. These are mass market Vienna lagers; I’m not sure you can even get a Vienna lager in Vienna these days. And no, they’re not usually served with lime.

    • SonarTech52 says:

      Actually, Mexican beer was influenced by Germans. When Austro-German emperor Maximilian ruled for 4 years, he took his brewmasters with him. Negra Modelo and Dos Equis Ámbar are both examples of Vienna style beer.

    • jenjenjen says:

      I would rather have a Dos Equis lager than any of the big three American brands any day of the week. And Mexico does have a craft beer scene as well – it’s just much harder to find their stuff in the US. It’s hard enough to find American beers from outside your own region, never mind Mexican. Cucapa is one you might find – BevMo sells a few of theirs where I live. Their honey beer is super tasty.

  6. mikeP says:

    Why wouldn’t you just swish the beer around a bit to mix up the lime juice? Doesn’t putting your thumb over it turning it upside down and effectively shaking up a carbonated beverage sound like a Fail waiting to happen?

    • trentblase says:

      You’ve seriously never had a Corona with a lime? Sounds like an excellent opportunity to test your “swish it around” theory with a couple beer experiments. My hypothesis is that the lime will block flow into the neck when you drink. Let me know the results and I’ll peer-review your study.

    • polizzi82 says:

      I swirl or chug as the increase in carbonation due to the lime’s acid releases forcing ice cold beer into my mouth (make sure you seal your mouth on the bottle). Girls like to make a big show and invert with thumb always letting go too early spraying everyone. The real solution to this ‘heath epidemic’ is not to drink a beer so gross you need to mask it with fruit.

  7. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    I’m sure they spent a million dollars on research for this, too, while flipping the bird to cancer.

  8. Battlehork says:

    I don’t always drink beer, but when I do, I prefer not spraying it all over myself.

  9. The cake is a lie! says:

    “there’s a substance in lime juice”

    Yeah, I think it is called Citric Acid. This is the same stuff that makes lemon juice invisible ink. Remember using it to write on paper and then warming it up over a light bulb to make it appear? I was doing that 30 years ago, so this is hardly news that citrus fruits have something in them which react to light and heat. Don’t break out the Nobel prize just yet…

    • Slave For Turtles says:

      Aw come on. There’s at least an Ig Nobel prize nomination perhaps!

    • ChuckECheese says:

      It’s not citric acid. From the research abstract: “The phenomenon of phytophotodermatitis (PPD) induced by lime juice has been recognized for centuries. Limes contain varying concentrations of phototoxic coumarin compounds, including bergapten, 5-methoxypsoralen, xanthotoxin, and limettin. These chemicals absorb light in the UV-A range.1 Contact with lime juice or rind results in these phototoxic compounds being transferred to the skin, where their interaction with UV light results in phototoxic reactions of varying severity.”

      source: http://archderm.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/extract/146/10/1194

  10. edicius is an acquired taste says:

    Oh geez, for a minute there I thought it actually had to do with the ingesting of the beer and the lime. Point the damn bottle away from your face and you won’t have this problem.

  11. Maximus Pectoralis says:

    I think I’ll stick to my hefeweizen. Beer shouldn’t need to be loaded with fruit juice to taste good!

    • c!tizen says:

      I may be mistaken, but isn’t it customary in some places to put lemon in hefeweizen?

      • danmac says:

        Or oranges. I was about to write how silly his comment was.

      • quasijo says:

        Don’t know about lemon, but I like an orange wedge in mine.

      • Hooray4Zoidberg says:

        I think it’s common to put lemon in it, but I don’t believe it’s customary for the beer style. I get the feeling it’s a trend that started when they began appearing in bars along side the macro brews years ago. Back then if it wasn’t Bud, Miller or Coors you shoved a fruit in it.

        Personally hate what it does to the taste of a hefe, ruins the subtleties and makes the lemon rind makes it taste bitter and sour.

      • NickRayko says:

        Hefeweizen is originally a Bavarian style of beer, and often served there with a shot of lime or lemon syrup, or even cut with lemonade (especially in the summer). Most American hefes aren’t very true to style, especially Widmer.

  12. danmac says:

    It may give me skin splotches, but it’s GREAT for my scurvy!

  13. Fjord says:

    I wonder why there are no BMWs on the list. I see a lot of rockets running around town.

    • JonathanR says:

      I had 10 tickets in my Dodge Stratus, and have had 0 in my BMW after nearly a year of ownership. I think we just look too responsible to speed, yeah thats it…

  14. Taliskan says:

    Isn’t this how you bleach your hair? Squeeze lime juice in hair, wait in sun, bam bleached?

  15. weeple says:

    This just happened to my wife in August while we were on vacation in Cancun. We were both very worried about what was happening. The resort doctor incorrectly diagnosed it as a jellyfish sting. It was not fun and we took it pretty seriously. Wish we would have known then, it would have prevented some unpleasant stress during our vacation.

  16. mac-phisto says:

    i have an alternative solution – i don’t fruit my beer. interesting factoid: do you know why mexican beers are served with a lime wedge? it’s to keep the flies away.

    • The cake is a lie! says:

      Interesting. I didn’t know that…

    • Zowzers says:

      Its got nothing to do with flies and everything to do with cutting the skinniness of sun spoiled beer. Hop oils do not react well to UV light; so if they stopped bottling their beer in clear glass they wouldn’t need citrus to kill the skunk flavor.

      Sad thing is that people assume its suppose to taste skunked. So they’ve taken what the rest of the beer world sees as a defect and made it in to part of their style.

  17. psikic says:

    Shhhh!!! The next thing you know, congress will write a law prohibiting the use of limes with beer!

  18. classic10 says:

    Spray lime in your face and go sunbathing. You’ll have plenty of burnt spots. What does it have to do with Mexican Beer? I’m white Caucasian and I’m feeling embarrassed for reading this RACIST article.

  19. Bizdady says:

    I cant stand limes in my Coronas.

  20. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

    Maybe I’m doing it wrong, or my hands are different from this Dr’s, but unless they follow the tradition of taking your thumb off and letting the spray go into your mouth, how do you get it on you?

    If you hold your hand out, you thumb points away from you. When it’s on the top of the bottle, your thumb is between you and bottle. When you raise your thumb, it should shoot out away from you, unless you are pointing it at yourself.

    • tbax929 says:

      I do this with my beer – usually it’s Blue Moon with an orange – and have never sprayed it on myself. Some people are just too stupid to drink.

  21. qualityleashdog says:

    LOL WUT?

  22. KCDebi says:

    Actually, this only applies to amateurs. Anyone who drinks Coronas with limes regularly has moved on to squeezing the lime wedge above the bottle with precision to ensure every drop goes into the beer, not sprayed around willy nilly.

  23. satoru says:

    I wish I could read the actual paper. Though it’s in the Correspondence section. Which means it’s basically the equivalent of an editorial, and is not a peer-reviewed article. Though this doctor has only published 2 articles and both of them are correspondence, so I would take what he says with a grain of salt until you can read the actual paper.

    • satoru says:

      I’m not saying he’s wrong, it’s just that in these situations the media usually blows shit WAY out of proportion to what the actual article says. Without access to the article it’s hard to know what it actually says, aside from some moron reporters version of the story beyond the headline.

  24. Timbojones says:

    Sounds like a new form of body mod!

  25. MongoAngryMongoSmash says:

    There’s an easy cure for Mexican Beer Dermatitis that is suggested by most doctors.

    You put the lime in the coconut and drink them both together. You put the lime in the coconut and then you feel better.

  26. JMH says:

    This is absolutely true, for what it’s worth; I have a rash on my thumb from it that’s been there for a couple of months now, fading very gradually. Has nothing to do with the beer, of course.

  27. NickRayko says:

    I don’t drink Corona too often, but I don’t believe I’ve ever had a skunked one. Check out most European or Canadian beers that come in a green bottle (Beck’s, St Pauli Girl, Grolsch, Molson, Labatt’s, et al) – they’re far more often skunked, perhaps even more often than not. While it is true that alpha acids (the important component in hops for brewing) will get light-struck (skunked), the breweries who use clear glass bottles are using a treated version of hops that resist that stinky reaction better than untreated. I believe it’s called isomerization, but I’m not a chemist, just a beer enthusiast. FWIW, brown bottles block much more light than do green/blue/clear. Canning or kegging eliminates skunking altogether, but doesn’t protect beer from the damage that can result from sitting around too long or getting too warm in transit or storage.

    • NickRayko says:

      hmmmm… that was supposed to be a reply to Zowzers’ reply to mac-phisto’s comment above.

      Someday that edit button will appear.

      /fingers crossed

    • Zowzers says:

      Surprisingly only a few Mexican beers use stabilizers, and at least one actually exposes their beer to UV light prior to canning so that the canned beer tastes similar to the bottled.

      I’ll have to dig back through my books to find out where I got that info. it was either in “The Standards of Brewing” by Charles W. Bamforth Ph.D or “Principles of Brewing Science” by George Fix Ph.D. I’m guessing it was in Standards of brewing.

  28. ElizabethD says:

    Lame. Made me look!

  29. drjayphd says:

    Well, THERE’S your problem: drinking Corona. I thought this post was about beer.

  30. Chaosium says:

    This is the most ridiculous PR masquerading as “science advice” I’ve seen in months.

  31. JonBoy470 says:

    One of the reasons I married my wife is that she has the ability to flip a Corona without spraying a drop. It’s a skill I’ve never mastered.